What is an Outsourced CFO

What is an Outsourced CFO?

For SaaS businesses wanting to stay competitive in the rapidly changing market, it’s key to have to have an effective financial strategy. A great way to do this without breaking the budget is through outsourced CFO services – a cost-effective solution providing expert advice and support for companies needing professional financial assistance. 

In this article, we will review the role of an outsourced CFO, what services they provide, where companies can find an outsourced CFO, and how much it can cost.

Understanding the Role of an Outsourced CFO

Hiring an external CFO (Chief Financial Officer) for a company is a cost-effective solution that provides financial services on an outsourced basis. This individual will handle the same duties as in-house CFOs, including overseeing financial reporting and analysis operations, supervising accounting teams, and interpreting data while serving as the main point of contact with any outside financial partners.

Outsourcing these services can be advantageous to businesses that can’t afford to bring in someone full-time yet and still want to benefit from having access to fresh perspectives or objective financial insights.

CFO Services Provided

CFOs who are outsourced provide a variety of services, including CFO-level insights and executive financial analysis and reports. They can also provide or manage other financial and accounting services such as budgeting, forecasting, cash flow management, financial modeling, and risk management – each tailored to meet the specific needs of each company. 

The Rise of Fractional CFOs

Many business owners have taken advantage of fractional CFOs, primarily due to their cost-effectiveness. They provide organizations with financial services on a part-time or contract basis and eliminate the need for a full-time CFO, thus reducing overhead expenses. This allows businesses access to expert accounting and finance talent, knowledge in specialized areas, and valuable expertise without being too costly. Thus making it possible for these establishments to obtain quality resources that would otherwise be financially out of reach if not done through fractional CFOS.

Benefits of Outsourcing CFO Services

Using outsourcing CFO services can provide businesses with several advantages, such as more accurate financial data evaluation and insights, cost efficiency, plus having access to an external finance team. By selecting a qualified outsourced Chief Financial Officer (CFO), companies have the opportunity to focus on their core capabilities while ensuring that all financial strategies are taken care of by experienced professionals.

Hiring a knowledgeable CFO also allows organizations to make optimal decisions for increased profitability and improved fiscal performance.

Financial Data Analysis and Insights

By outsourcing CFO services, businesses can leverage the expertise of financial experts to gain better insights from their financial data and make well-informed decisions. They also have access to up-to-date tools and software for their finance department, which saves them time and money. 

External Financial Partners

Businesses may look outside the organization to engage external financial partners, such as investment advisors, tax preparers, and auditors. These services provide businesses access to funding, management of finances, and better decision-making when it comes to financial matters. Hiring an outsourced consultant can be a great way for organizations to get more value from these relationships by ensuring that you have a trusted advisor on your side who is experienced in working with all types of external financial partners. An outsourcing CFO will financially and strategically support your business goals while offering essential advice about choosing other external financial partners for specific needs.

When to Consider Hiring an Outsourced CFO

For businesses seeking to maximize their financial strategy, understanding when they should hire an outsourced CFO is essential. Businesses can determine if this is the appropriate move for them by considering situations such as when they require long-term access to experienced finance professionals, need a speedy replacement for their former CFO, or need financial expertise as they seek external funding.

Interim CFO vs. Outsourced CFO

An interim CFO is an ideal solution when a company requires assistance for a predetermined timeline and scope, while outsourced CFOs can provide extensive financial services to support the business over an extended period. Outsourcing this crucial position ensures that expert analysis and advice remain available at all times without requiring the full-time commitment of a full-time or interim hire. Consequently, companies gain access to in-depth expertise, which may not be possible with internal resources alone. For shorter periods or specific projects, Relying on interim CFOs will still prove very beneficial as they bring valuable insights into their role until it’s time to find more long-term arrangements.

How to Find the Right CFO Services Provider

When seeking a CFO services provider, businesses must evaluate the credentials and experience of their potential providers. Doing so will help them find the right fit for top-tier financial guidance. It is essential to cultivate a positive relationship with your chosen CFO services provider to maximize its value and benefit. Knowing what type of help you can expect from such professionals should be considered when selecting from various options.

Evaluating Credentials and Experience

Businesses looking to outsource a CFO should carefully evaluate potential providers’ qualifications and experience. A successful candidate will have attained at least a bachelor’s degree in finance or accounting, as well as possess certifications such as Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), or Certified Treasury Professional (CTP). Knowledge from their related industry could be seen positively by these services hiring companies. Scrutinizing all relevant credentials ensures that a qualified professional is taking care of the financial needs of any business seeking CFO services.

Establishing a Strong Working Relationship

The importance of setting up a reliable connection between yourself and your outsourced CFO cannot be overstated, as it aids in the successful execution of business operations. To build such an alliance, certain steps must be taken: laying out specific goals, establishing trust through consistent performance delivery, developing a positive rapport with one another, plus holding frequent communication conversations.

Having strong ties to an external Chief Financial Officer has its advantages. Not only does it make financial management more efficient, but it also opens doors for wiser business decisions based on their expertise.

Costs Associated with Outsourced CFO Services

Businesses exploring the potential of outsourced CFO services should be aware of related expenses. Hourly rates normally fall between $200 and $350, while monthly retainers are available from around a thousand dollars up to twelve thousand per month. Any business looking at outsourcing its Chief Financial Officer position must understand what such costs would entail prior to making a decision.

Hourly Rates vs. Retainer Packages

Businesses need to assess the best pricing structure that works for them, and it is beneficial to compare hourly rates versus retainer packages. This way of paying allows clients to only use services they require. Estimating the overall cost can be difficult with this payment plan in place. Alternatively, CFOs have a steady income stream when using retainers, but customers may pay more than necessary for their needs. Thus, which option firms should opt in for depends on the project’s scope & timeline and the customer’s budget limits.

Preparing Your Finance Department for an Outsourced CFO

For a successful integration of an outsourced CFO into your finance team, it is vital to have all financial data up-to-date and precise. Documenting the processes in place, as well as granting access to any relevant financial information and resources, should be done prior to their start date to enable a smooth transition. By doing this, the business can help guarantee that they will effectively perform their role by providing useful financial guidance without wasting time searching for information, setting up accounts, etc.

Having all these basics ready allows them to hit the ground running so productivity isn’t decreased during those initial days at work while working with your department!


Outsourcing CFO services brings businesses a range of advantages, such as financial expertise, reduced costs, and enhanced analysis of financial information. Businesses should consider the purpose of an outsourced CFO in detail before deciding to hire one, and fully understanding both their benefits and associated costs is necessary. 

Frequently Asked Questions


What does an outsourced CFO do?

Businesses that need access to a seasoned CFO but don’t have the resources to hire one full-time can benefit from hiring an outsourced CFO. This specialized service provides businesses with top-level accounting, operational advice, and financial direction either on a part-time or interim basis. The range of services offered by these professionals includes budgeting as well as strategic planning for long-term success. Hiring an outsourced CFO is an economical solution in comparison to hiring a full-time Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

Why hire an outsourced CFO?

Hiring an outsourced CFO can be a cost-saving and advantageous solution that gives your business access to greater expertise. Through their knowledge, they can help create reliable financial statements and financial support and expertise to help drive optimal decision-making.

What is another name for an outsourced CFO?

Companies and businesses can gain access to financial expertise by using outsourced CFOs, also referred to as fractional CFOs. They bring a wealth of insight and strategic advice that could improve a company’s financial performance while enabling them to maximize their profitability. Fractional CFOs are qualified to assist with managing cash flow intelligently, preparing budgets correctly, and creating reliable financial projections.

What services do outsourced CFOs typically offer?

Outsourced CFOs provide services such as financial reporting at the executive level, SaaS bookkeeping, and controller duties, all of which offer valuable insights.

Here are three more articles about SaaS finances:

4 Myths About Outsourced Accounting
Importance of Leverage Ratios
A Guide to Increasing Average Revenue Per Account